Available now from Cobblestone Press
Eric Hayes expected a quiet couple weeks of leave before reporting for SEAL training. He arrives at his family home to find the house already occupied by Liam—his younger brother—and Liam’s friends from college. Liam thinks Eric would be a good fit with Scott, a childhood friend, but Eric finds himself captivated by another houseguest.
A.H. Shaw is a Ph.D. student, donating his spring break to helping Liam with an engineering project. Shaw’s snarky wit and lean good looks capture Eric’s attention from the first glance. Eric thrives on challenges, and Shaw is exactly what he’s looking for.
Shaw grinned, taking a bite of the fish, blinking a few times in obvious surprise. “This is really good.”
“I’ll try to contain my pain over your surprise.”
“Please do. Manly tears do nothing for me.”
“And do you want me to do something for you?”
Shaw looked up slowly. “Why, Mr. Hayes, are you flirting with me?”
“And if I were?”
“It’s going to take more than asparagus and bass, no matter how nicely cooked, to get anywhere with me.”
“What exactly will it take?”
Shaw’s smile could only be described as enigmatic.
* * * * *
Eric finished loading the dishwasher then considered what to do next. He’d planned to watch a movie, but his mind was more on Shaw than on the films he’d missed. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d laughed as much in a conversation as the one they’d had over dinner.
The object of his contemplation was back at his laptop, pounding away at the keys. “You want to watch a movie?”
Shaw looked up, blinking a few times. “Um. Sure.” He glanced at the wall clock. “It’ll be late before we’re done, so let me put all this away.” He quickly gathered all his papers and closed his laptop. “Be right back.”
Eric grabbed a couple of fresh beers and headed to the living room, sprawling on the couch.
“What’d you want to watch?” Shaw asked as he began walking past Eric to his seat of choice, but Eric snagged his wrist as he passed. Shaw paused, not pulling away, just arching a brow.
“I have a hunch that what it’ll take is just pulling you into my lap and kissing you senseless. So, tell me if I’m reading this wrong.” He gave a little tug.
Shaw stared at him for several beats then gave in to the pull, letting Eric draw him down onto his lap. Before Eric could do anything else, Shaw framed his face with both hands and sealed their mouths together. “You’re not,” he whispered as he broke the kiss.
Eric carded his fingers into Shaw’s thick hair, disturbing the precariously secured, sloppy bun and pulled Shaw closer.